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Australia announced plans Friday to explore concepts such as firing salt into clouds and covering swaths of water with a thin layer of film in a bid to save the embattled Great Barrier Reef. The UNESCO World Heritage-listed reef, about the size of Japan or Italy, is reeling from two straight years of bleaching as sea temperatures rise because of climate change.Another idea was a biodegradable "sun shield," where an ultra-thin film containing light-reflecting particles covers some reef waters to protect corals from heat stress.The experimental commissions came as Canberra said Friday it was updating its Aus$2.0 billion "Reef 2050" plan – first unveiled in 2015 – to protect the reef, with further measures to improve water quality.
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